Date of the last update: 21.06.2022
For contemporary people houseplants are more than just a decorative element at home. They let us build a connection with nature on a daily basis, even in such a small and limited way. Plans are also natural air filters, which is extremely important in large cities – especially in winter. But to enjoy beautiful houseplants we must remember to nurture for them properly. The basic question which all home gardeners asks themselves is, of course, “how often should I water my plants?”. The wellbeing and vitality of the plants depends on this.
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Although this is a fundamental question, there is no one right answer to it. It all depends on the needs of the plant in question. Exotic houseplants, for example, will need different conditions than native plants. Thus, it’s vital to get some basic information about the plant you are keeping at home. There are, however, some general rules which you can follow when watering your houseplants.
- Plants with thick leaves and stems – such as aloe vera, prickly pear or schlumbergera – do not need much water. They store it in their leaves.
- Plants with large leaves need more water as their evaporation area is much larger than that of smaller plants.
- The frequency and quantity of watering for houseplants depends not only on the plants themselves but also on the time of year. In winter plants need much less watering than in summer. This is not only because of lower water evaporation, but also because many plants go dormant in winter.
- Plants need water most in the morning. That’s why it’s a good idea to plan your watering then.
- Young plants have a higher demand for water than older plants. The same applies to pre-flowering plants.
Watering houseplants is influenced not only by the species, the time of day, the year and the appearance of the leaves. Remember that the plant needs the gardener’s observation and reaction. Contrary to appearances, plants do not need routine watering. To find out if it is necessary, you need to monitor the plant regularly and especially check the soil. The best way to do this is to insert your finger three centimetres deep into the pot. If it is dry and the soil does not stick to your finger, it is a clear sign that the plant needs watering.
A popular mistake made by home gardeners is also to water plants “a little at a time” but more frequently. In such a situation, very often the water does not reach the deepest layers of soil and thus the roots. This can cause the plant to wither in spite of constant efforts.
Watering houseplants may not seem complicated, but it is certainly not a task we can take on without any knowledge. It’s really useful to know the plant species and the general watering rules.
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